Wendy Cope is a contemporary English poet and today we talk about her ways of writing poetry. The best poets read quite a lot and their romantic love poems and quotes get influenced by this, but how else are they going to find out what makes poetry superb. People who don’t read poetry, don’t write good poems, it might be great to put those feelings on paper, but it’s not great poetry. You’re free to do what you want with your poems and quotes and you can write what you feel like you should be writing. However, reading modern poetry and the works of late and great poets is the best way to learn and improve your poetry skills. I don’t understand how anyone who doesn’t read poetry wants to write it. I mean, do amateur painters refuse to go to art galleries? Or amateur musicians who refuse to listen to music?
The people who write but don’t read poetry use the argument that they don’t want to be influenced. However, they don’t understand that the learning process starts by being influenced by someone else’s work. Some of my work when I started out read like poor imitations of Sylvia Plath, others like poor imitations of TS Eliot. These were just my earliest and unpublished poems. But, slowly you’ll work your way through your influences and find your own voice. I still am influenced by what I read and learn when it comes to love poems and quotes.
If you want your work to be great, the voice in it has to come from a real person. This needs to be implemented in first-person lyrics, and dramatic monologues as well. Some people who are insecure may use a special voice on the phone, which sounds different from their usual tone of speaking. Some writers do similar things when writing. They use “poetic” language, which they normally don’t and reach for cliches. This is because the lack of confidence or energy to look for their unique way of expressing themselves.
The most important and helpful question that you can ask yourself when writing is “Am I telling the truth?” This comes from personal experience. TS Eliot said that the biggest challenge for an author is to tell the difference between “what you would like to feel and what you actually feel.” This isn’t really a simple task to figure out. Eliot’s saying still holds, whether we’re writing about public events, a response to the world around us, or our own lives. If a poet is being dishonest, unknowingly or knowingly, the poem is bad. Look for images and words that accurately articulate the truth. You also need some technical skills when it comes to love poems and quotes. Even if you don’t intend on writing in forms, learn about it and try it out, you have to know this stuff.